Sunday, May 17, 2009

3rd Round Playoff Predictions

Well it's getting down to the wire. While the playoffs are technically half over, the field has been reduced to a quarter of it's original size. After perhaps the best second round in recent memory, the next round has all sorts of potential as well. Our experts put their money where their mouth is trying to predict the next round...

Finishing a shocking 1-3 (after going nearly perfect last year) bringing his point total to 8 is Jeff...

Jeff Says: So that round went rather poorly for me. But at least all series were close and not complete blowouts. I thought Boston had it in them but clearly Carolina is playing really well and have a lot of heart and momentum. Vancouver/chicago could have gone either way. I thought Luongo would have stood out and stolen some games for them. Chicago is playing well. Detroit won a competitive series, something they have not had to do in a while. And Washington came just short. Ovie did everything he could, but in the end depth was probably an issue. So yah, did not do to well. Been a tough year to call them.

Anyways, onto round 3!

Going 2-2, with an extra point for correctly predicting Carolina's seven game thriller is Troy...

Troy Says: It's that time again where I make a complete ass of myself. But hey...I was perfect in the eastern conference!.

Going 3-1, with one extra point (also for Carolina) is yours truly, the 8 points currently puts him in a tie with Jeff...

Glen Says: Seriously that may have been the best second round ever. We have a shocker of an upset, an upset that almost happened, a coming of age, and well, Crosby-Ovechkin. What more could you ask for really? I'm rather for excited for a youth vs. experience match-up out West, and a brotherly showdown in the East this round...

Going 4-0, and gaining 2 extra points for correctly predicting the Carolina and Detroit series lengths is the has a total of 10 points now, putting it in the lead...yes, we are all rather embarrassed.


#4. Pittsburgh Penguins vs. #6 Carolina Hurricanes

Jeff Says: This is a tough one to call. It is going to be a very good series. Both teams some in riding game 7 highs and i like the match-up between the brothers Staal. I think Eric will enjoy a bit more of a favourable match-up now that he doesn't have to hang out with Chara every shift. So he will be quite the factor in this series. Crosby is playing like an MVP and will win the Con Smyth if they win the cup for sure. This round Pittsburgh has to face a better goaltender then they did against Washington so that is going to give them issue. Carolina gets to play a less physcial team or well less overbearing team size wise so they will be able to play with speed and skills right along with pittsburgh.

Prediction: Carolina wins in 6 (or 7 since they really like these game 7's)

Troy Says: Last year the Penguins steamrolled their way into the finals, never going deeper than 5 games in any series until they finally met up with the big red freight train. This year though the Pens are even better. Better offense, better goaltending, better defense, and more experience. I think this experience will serve them well in this series. We must not forget though that Carolina is a very experienced team as well. I tend not to think of them as an elite team but they know how to win in the playoffs. Cam Ward is now 4-0 in game 7s and although he is still very young, he's very experienced in the NHL playoffs and that can go a very long way. In my opinion though Pittsburgh's offense will put them over the top in this once. Also, when the game is on the line there is no one better right now than Crosby. He raises his game and puts his team on his shoulders. Just ask Alexander Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals. I don't think this is going to be an easy series for Pittsburgh though. Carolina is always a tough team in the playoffs (just ask my Montreal Canadiens) and they never go away easily.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6.

Glen Says: Well, I had the Pens penciled in as champions at the start of the playoffs, and I don't plan on changing it now. These guys are good, really, really good. They made two very good teams in Philly and Washington crumble, and on paper they should have an easier time this round than before. That being said, there is no team that has opened more eyes that the Hurricanes. Both Eric Staal and Cam Ward have upped their Olympic stock a great deal, and Eric Cole is looking like one of the best deadline (re) acquisitions ever. But, Fleury is no slouch, and well, there is that simple matter of Mr. Crosby. Sid has been unreal, notching 12 goals in the first 2 rounds (the record for most in a single playoff is 19), and he seems to have taken last years finals loss, and his early season slump personally. Make no mistake about it, this man is on a mission, and no team of destiny is going to stop that.

Prediction: Pittsburgh in 6.

Coin Says: Carolina in 5 (EDITOR'S NOTE:...ballsy...)


#2. Detroit Red Wings vs. #4 Chicago Blackhawks

Jeff Says: Both teams come in after hard fought series'. Chicago is young and super talented and their goalie is playing well. Detroit comes in, well, as Detroit. Super skilled offensively and defensively and Osgood is good enough to keep them in any game. This is a tough series to call, or not as I have maintained all along that Detroit is going to win the cup usual. So yeah, although the series could be exciting, I see no way Detroit loses after surviving Anaheim, a team that probably would have gone to the cup and won had they beat Detroit. I do wish however that Anaheim would have won because it would have been great seeing former London Knights alumni playing each other. And it would have been simply a very entertaining series overall. Plus a Anaheim/Pittsburgh series would be a great one. Well any of the combinations would be great.

Detroit wins in 6

Overall, I'm calling it, Detroit vs Carolina for the cup and Detroit winnnig in 5.

Troy Says: Although I'm not a huge Red Wings fan, I must say that there is a piece of me that thinks it's nice to see an Original Six matchup this deep into the playoffs. This should be a very series and to this point I have been thoroughly impressed with the fortitude of Chicago's young talent. Having said that though, so far in the playoffs the Black Hawks have played Calgary and Vancouver, two teams which have struggled big time with putting pucks in the net. The Detroit Red Wings do not have this problem. The Wings have one of the best offenses in the league and Chicago has yet to face a team with this type of talent. So far Chicago's young stars have been great at scoring goals but in this series they're going to have to be great at stopping goals. Detroit's only weakness in this series will be their goaltending. Fortunately for the Wings though their offense is so good that on most nights their goaltending only has to be good - not great- for them to win. This series makes me think a little bit of the Cup Finals last year between Detroit and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh was a great team but young and inexperienced and Detroit picked them apart. (We all know that series had no business going 6 games). I think Detroit will do the thing this year to Chicago.

Prediction: Detroit in 5.

Glen Says: With a look at the offense from top to bottom, we may just have the most exciting and explosive series since, well...Pittsburgh-Washington. If that was the battle between the two best pure talents in the league, then this is going to be a match up between the two best duos that the game has to offer, as Zetterberg and Datsyuk take on the challengers in Kane and Toews. Chicago has done a fantastic job of coming back in games that they had no business winning, and have really impressed me with their perseverance, as they are playing well beyond their years. While it is one thing to continually come back against second tier teams like Vancouver and Calgary, it is another thing to do it against the mighty Red Wings. This is a team that knows how to play well at both ends of the ice, and I just don't see the Hawks being able to come back against a team like this. If you take away those emotional come from behind wins, the Hawks lose a lot of momentum and steam. As much as I know that the league would love a Chicago-Pittsburgh final, I think that we're going to end up with a rematch from last year's main event.

Prediction: Detroit in 5.

Coin Says: Detroit in 6.

But I guess we shall have to see...

Until next time,


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